Time for a change

Published 11:40 pm Friday, May 17, 2019

The RiverGuard states that he’s unable to explain why this erosion on the shores of the Blackwater River seems to be accelerating. — Submitted Jeff Turner

Spirit of Moonpie and I spent the 14th through the 16th on the Blackwater above Burdette. The water was 67 degrees, normal level and muddy. Air temps ranged from 44 to 75 degrees and even though it did sprinkle the first day, it was out as nice a weather as one could ask for.

The trash on this trip was bad, but it always is once I get downriver from the pump station. I picked up 90 pounds worth, which included an ATV tire and rim. The tire and rim were in great shape, plenty of tread. How in the world it got into the river is beyond me. Most of the trash was in an old channel of the river on the back side of what is now a new island.

The old loop is completely blocked now with a logjam and that is where all the trash was piled up. This logjam will most likely never break up now that the river is divided. I also cut up a tree on the main river just downriver from the Alphin farm in hopes it will stop a logjam from forming there. I tried cutting a log up in Corrowaugh Creek, but the saw got pinched and I ’bout lost the saw. I had to take the bar off to get the saw back in the boat and I managed to drive the bar out of the tree, but the chain is still hanging there, so that sucked bad.

The other really bad issue up there on that part of the river is the amount of shoreline erosion taking place. In the past few years there are couple of places that have lost huge amounts of the riverbank. I am at a loss to understand why. The location has not recently been logged or anything like that. Rivers do get wider and shallower with age, that’s a known fact, but along this stretch that seems to be occurring at an accelerated rate.

The fishing on this trip was poor, at least for bass. I think I could have caught plenty of red throats, but I was fishing for bass specifically, which I rarely do. I only caught two small bass, a big chain pickerel and a large 43-inch gar that was skinny at only 8.80 lbs. A 43-inch gar should weigh 10 pounds easily. I might could have done better with the bass, but I was stubborn and used a lure I found until I lost it back to the river and I fished topwater most of the two days I fished. I had made a topwater lure and wanted to see how it would do. I did catch the big jack (chain pickerel) on it. Anyway, I’m not done testing the crazy-looking popper yet.

Well I hate it, but this was the last land-based patrol of the year. It’s time to transition to the pontoon boat for the rapidly approaching hot weather. I will miss the camp fire and cool bug-free nights, but it’s time for a change on the two rivers we call the Blackwater and Nottoway.

To contact Jeff about river issues email him at blknotkpr@earthlink.net.